State of Play


I was driving to work earlier this week when something bizarre and hilarious caught my eye. It was an older gent, riding up Ryrie Street along the leafy footpaths of East Geelong, wearing a bright pink mohawk hat and sporting a Darryn Lyons campaign poster on his back.

Yep, the former Mayor’s ‘pink army’ was at it again.

As a piece of campaigning, it was just a little bit brilliant and I had to admire the style of it. And it is election time, when things get a little … interesting.


There are campaign posters every hundred metres or so along the major arterials and a barrage of headline funding promises clogging up our daily feeds. No one’s bitten into an onion yet, but there’s still weeks to go.

But, as the President of the United States shows us all too frequently, stunts don’t equal good policy. And it’s not too much to ask that we expect good policy. I loved the fake mohawk, but I don’t want that to translate to a design brief for an enormously costly convention centre over the water either.

This was in the Geelong Addy last November

Yes, long after the dust has settled on the November 24 election, I will remember scooter punk grandpa, but I also remember that Lyons is a former member of the Victorian Liberal Party, reported in the Addy this time last year as being courted by the party to run for Geelong in the 2018 State Election. Asked about the rumours of Lyons making a tilt for the strong Labor seat, Opposition Leader Matthew Guy said, “Darryn is a friend of mine,” (GA, 15 Nov, 2017) and that he wasn’t interested in participating in ‘unsubstantiated speculation’ regarding any future tilts at State.

These are questions we should be thinking about as we approach the election – and pre-poll opens in less than two weeks - in the same way that we should be questioning whether Dan Andrews’ Labor party is delivering for all Victorians, not just those in electorally attractive seats at the expense of safe seat projects like the long-promised Northern ARC health facility. Or whether Matthew Guy and the Liberals can Get Back in Control, when a walk around the planning disaster of Docklands is a stark reminder of what control can mean.

What do you want from our next State Government?

For what it’s worth, here’s my answer:

  1. I want a government focused on lifting people up, to help level the playing field for all people, by focusing on the causes of problems, not just ideas to tackle them once they become problems so big they can’t be ignored.
  2. I want our state government to create, manage and support transparent systems of checks and balances that support the point above.
  3. I want a government who will give us more of what we need and less of what we want, preferably based on solid evidence, with an eye to the years beyond the election cycle, and with advice and direction from truly independent expert bodies.

Sure, I also want unicorns to be real, for someone to invent dark chocolate raspberry bullets that are good for your gut health, and uninterrupted internet and mobile services… but for now, they are my big three.

Why not share your own by tagging in your local candidates, and state and federal parties on social media? It is, after all, your democratic right and your government.

Happy Monday!

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